Full text of Bishop TD Jakes’ sermon titled “Think Like Eagles”.
Best quotes from this sermon:
“To be unforgiving, is like you drinking poison and waiting on somebody else to die.”
“When you keep eating what you should release it weights you down.”
“Unforgiveness is keeping you in a chicken coop when God is calling you to the Mount.”
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Pastor Jenkins: Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give it up for Bishop Thomas Dexter Jakes.
T.D. Jakes: Let’s give Jesus the best praise you can muster right now. Hallelujah. You may be seated.
You all should have told me I could have worn my jeans, that ain’t fair. I got me some jeans, I don’t have no skinny jean because my cup runneth over. How many of you’re glad to be in the house of the Lord today?
T.D. Jakes: I am going to take a few minutes and talk to you. I’m not even going to open up the text, I’m just going to talk to you about the crux of what I have been traveling all over the country for the last two weeks. I’m going to hit 20 to 30 cities before I get home.
There is a word that God has put in my heart that I believe is life changing. We’ve spent a lot of times cleansing ourselves from the filthiness of the flesh, lust, and anger, and habits, and addictions, and things like that.
But what is deeper, is the cleansing of the heart, to get your heart clean. You can clean up everything else but everything that’s going on in your life is coming out of your heart. Your God is a God of seed. He is a God of seed. Everything He does, He does it by seed, it starts out in seed form. He sends this word which is a seed, and the seed germinate and it bring forth fruit and bring forth life, it all starts in seed form.
Your mind is the ground where seeds are planted. And that’s good when it’s positive seeds, seeds of life, and seeds of healing, and seeds of restoration, and seeds of delivery. That’s really cool. But it’s bad when it’s negative seeds like unforgiveness, pride, flesh, carnality, those are negative things.
For the last year I’ve been studying and preparing and writing a book called, Let It Go, which is built on the premise of forgiveness, forgiveness. It’s amazing to me, how many of us as Christians never talk about forgiveness. I mean, isn’t that the substratum of what our faith is all about? It’s about forgiveness. Isn’t that what Jesus died on the cross for? Forgiveness, isn’t that what we’re here singing about raising our hands about clapping and skipping and falling out at the floor? Forgiveness.
Everybody in this room has been forgiven, that’s a victory right there. Everybody in this room have been forgiven. If you’re a Christian, you’ve been forgiven. You’re not here because you deserve it. You’re not here because God owes you a favour, you’ve been forgiven.
Isn’t it funny how you could have been forgiven and found it difficult to forgive?
The challenge is, God wants you to be a conduit through which His character flows through. He tells Paul in 1ST Corinthians, ‘to comfort one another with the comfort where with you have been comforted.’ In other words monkey see monkey do. He said, “When you see me comfort you just turn around and act like me to somebody else and comfort them.” God will give anything to you that He can get through you.
When I was a little boy, well not a little boy but a young man, my brother is seven years older than me. He was 19 when I was 12. I asked my brother, “How do you kiss?” Yeah, I was worried because I thought suppose I do it wrong. And I said, “How do you do it?”
He said, “Well, don’t worry about, whatever they do, do it back.” I won’t finish that story because that story got me in a whole lot of trouble. But at the time I started into it, it seemed like a good metaphor to teach you a very strong principle. God says, “Whatever I do to you do it back.”
Even if you don’t know how to do it. Even if you’re not familiar with it, imitate me. If I comfort you, you comfort them, if I bless you, you bless them. If I teach you, you teach them, if I forgive you, you forgive them.
I’ll tell you what started me on this journey, they told me you’re listening church. That’s good because I think listening people to be thinking people. Think about this, ever since we were kids we were taught, The Lord’s Prayer. ‘Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.’ That thing, I was good until we got to that. That means all of my life, I have been asking God to treat me like I treat people.
Do you want God to treat you like you do your old boyfriend? Oh, you’re talking now I see. Oh, yeah. Do you want God to treat you like you treat that person you work with, and go to school with that gets on your last nerves? Do you want God to treat you like you treat your father who didn’t raise you, your mother who didn’t love you, or that particular sister who have always compared herself with? You want God to forgive you like you forgive her?
Here lies the problem, and everybody cannot get it. Forgiveness is a big idea, is for people who are big enough to see the big picture. Can I walk? I’m going to walk, I’m a walker. And I’m not familiar so I’m going to be tripping. I’ve already stepped on your pastor coming up on stage, so I’m trying to be cool. I hope you believe in divine healing because I’m pray for your toes.
Forgiveness is a big idea, it is not for little people. I’ve had an amazing life and tremendous career started about in this sticks of West Virginia with almost nothing, nothing, not almost. I lost almost I had nothing. I was so poor I couldn’t pay attention, never mind you’ll get it later.
Now what happens is since then I’ve got an opportunity through my gifts and opportunities. Through God’s grace, to interact with people who are gladiators in the industry at the top of what they do. Whether it’s television or movies, or the White House, or around the world, scientists. I’ve been with astronauts, I’ve been with Oprah, I’ve been with everybody. I’m getting ready to go to Oprah, when I leave here I’m flying to do a Master’s class for her.
There’s one common denominator regardless of the sphere of people who do big things and great things, is how they handle problems. Big people see problems in proper perspective. They always take the high road, they think like eagles. Little people think like chickens.
Chickens you see eat off the ground. And you might not know this and I don’t what to mess with your Sunday dinner, because I know you got a chicken a home in oven. But chickens they eat corn but they also eat sticks, anything on the ground.
And if you ever run a chicken coop, chickens, they eat their own faeces. Faeces is what you should release. When you keep eating what you should release it weights you down. So no matter how much you flap and flutter and jump and jerk, you can’t go but so high because of what you’ve been eating.
When you have unforgiveness, you eat what you should have excreted. If you eat like a chicken, you cannot fly like an eagle. Eagles eat in the high places they do not eat faeces. Their eye is keen, their vision can see for miles. Their wings are nine feet from tip to tip. They make love in the air. Did you know that?
Yeah, the Eagles belong to the Mile High club. What they do, they get into an embrace at about 20, 30,000 feet in the air and they grab a hold each other and start spinning down, and as they spiral down they make love in the air. So you never have to worry about an eagle mating with a chicken because the chicken can’t function on that level.
If you are going to be promoted to the next level, you can’t keep eating off the ground. You can’t keep going through the same memories. You can’t keep going through the same old issues. You can’t keep bringing up old stuff that are to be over. You can’t keep living this night of the dead experience where you keep bringing it back in again and again and again because you can’t get over it.
Unforgiveness is keeping you in a chicken coop when God is calling you to the Mount.
I was in South Africa on a safari, supposed to been on a safari with my wife. She went out to the cabin would not leave the cabin. In South Africa, I don’t mean the little zoos we have over here, we’re running around with elephants and rhinoceros and lions and stuff like that, I thought it was cool.
And I’m out there with a Zulu guide. And I’m out there with a professor at a university. The professor represents intellect, the Zulu represents instinct. So the professor is telling me about the rhinoceros, and how much he weighs and how much he moves. And Zulu, is looking at the dawn saying, the rhinoceros just left a moment ago. We get ready to go down the road. The professor is telling me about the elephant, how big its tusk are and what’s the calcium deposits to develop its tusk. The Zulu is sitting on the edge of the truck, saying, elephant 2 miles down this way.
Intellectualism versus instinct. So they come to the point it got dark and I thought maybe my wife was right, I should have stayed at home. Because I have courage about what I can see but I get despaired about what I can’t see. And what made it bad is the Zulu shined his light, it’s dark now, out into the forest and I saw all of these eyes looking bad at me. So I got a little bit nervous, just a little bit nervous.
And they told me, they said relax. They said, the animals only kill when they’re hungry. This they said to comfort me. And then he told me, don’t worry, the animals eat in the morning. They are not like people they do not kill out of rage. They kill out of hunger.
Man is the only thing that kills out of his emotions. If an animal attacks you is either that you’re on his territory, they pee on the ground to declare their territory, or he’s hungry. Only people will kill you because they hate you, because of the malice, that means our instincts are being controlled by our emotions.
Now whatever controls you becomes your master. If you let it control you, it will ruin you. Your memories, your scars, your abuse, your pain is your master. Anytime it controls you, you’re a slave. Anytime somebody can walk in the room and change your mood, you’re a slave. Anytime you can be whistling in the grocery store, turn down the next aisle and see her and your whole mood changes, you have not forgiven.
Now, unforgiveness does not exist amongst animals. The lion don’t say, the next time I see you out here I’m going to bite your legs, they don’t that. It didn’t come from animals.
It’s not in babies. No, babies are not unforgiving. Little toddlers, you can spank them and 2 mins later, mama you’re so pretty. It’s not in babies. It’s not in little children.10 year olds can be out there playing and if they get into a fight with each other the kids will make up and the parents will still not me speaking. You know I’m right about it.
If it’s not in animals, and it’s not in baby, and it’s not in children. How did it get in us? You didn’t take it in school, you didn’t get unforgiveness for dummies. You didn’t take unforgiveness 101, you didn’t have an unforgiveness class for biology. Where did you get that from, that it’s got such a stronghold now that you can’t get rid of it? And you don’t even know where you got it for.
There’s a pathology that is developed in your house, in your environment, in your community where you learn to express emotion in certain ways. You know why you laugh like you laugh? Because your momma do it. You’ll quiet in here but when you get home, you know how you really are. You’ll ain’t fooling me, I know you I ain’t even worried about it, I know it.
You know how you do, every family have a pathology, my wife’s family is real quiet, they’re real calm. My family we act like we hate each other, just talking, Child shut your mouth, no she didn’t.
When my wife family came over to visit my family it was like the meeting of the United Nations. My family was we were holding our spoons and pointing at each other and yelling and hollering, her family was, oh, my goodness. You know why we act like that? Because that’s what we saw.
We all have the same feelings. But how we express them is a result of the pathology in the environment that we’re in. If your daddy internalise pain and was not communicative, and took a drive rather than communicate to your mama, guess what, you’re going to go into isolation and bury your frustration and never confront your issues and it’s hard for you to talk.
If your mama talked about everything and over talked about it and followed you around the house, repeating it over and over again. Then you’re running about, talking about, we just need to talk about this, Oh, you mean you’re not going to talk to me? You need to talk about this, something got to be done about this. It is a learned behaviour. It is a learned behaviour.
Now let’s think, what does unforgiveness do to the person that violated you? Nothing. You sitting there mad at him. He left you for her and you ain’t going to forgive him no matter what.
While you’re sitting up here all swollen up and your heart is racing, and stress is collecting in your body, and you get hypertension, and you’re not resting, and you’re not creative, and you’re not functioning, you’re not doing good. He’s making love, going to the club, getting himself a drink, get party fun, getting down, getting loose, he’s getting with it.
So what did your unforgiveness do to him? Nothing. To be unforgiving, is like you drinking poison and waiting on somebody else to die.
Let’s go a little bit deeper. It doesn’t protect you either. It’s not like if you’re unforgiving you’ve got this force field around you, that it protects you from being hurt again. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, it does not protect you from being hurt again.
Because deep down beneath it the only reason you’re unforgiving is because you still care. You never have trouble releasing what you don’t care about. If I walk up to you and say, I don’t like your dress, and you don’t care what I think you’d say, please.
You only invest in emotions where you have feelings. This unforgiveness is killing you why? Because it is the cancer that eats up your destiny. Your history is killing your destiny.
And God gave me a message to preach all over the country to tell you that he has things for you that your eyes have not seen, that your ears have not heard, that has not entered into your heart. That your latter days are supposed to be your best days, your happiest days, your strongest days, your freest days, your most abundant days.
But He can’t give you your future when your hands are full of your past. So He says, in order for me to release a kind of blessing that I want to release upon my sons and my daughters. They have to let go of where they’ve been so you can see where you’re about to go, touch them and say let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. Don’t wait to fix it. Don’t wait to resolve it. Don’t wait to straighten it out. Don’t wait on them to apologize.
Anytime you’re waiting on them to do something you have put the power in the hands of the perpetrator. That’s like living in your room but putting your thermostat in their house. Why would you let them have control over your atmosphere? When you let it go you get back the freedom you need to be who you need to be, so you can do what you need to do. I feel the glory of the Lord coming into this place right now. Because God wants you to be free.
Jesus didn’t go to the cross and die and shed his blood and overcome all the demons of principalities of forces of hell, the satanic kingdom for you to get bound up by Jimmy. You mean you overcame witchcraft, Satanism, hexes, warlocks, all kinds of demons, survived all the tragedies of your past. And now you will get down here and trip over Ellen.
The devil is a liar, it’s time for you to take back your authority, take back control, build yourself back up, stand up on your feet, release where you’ve been, climb where you’re going, spread your wings like an Eagle and fly.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, touch your sister, touch your brother and, I’m going to let it go. I’m going to let it go, I got to get myself in a position where I’m ready to receive what God has for me, I’m going to let it go. I’m going to move into a position that I’m ready to walk in Kingdom destiny, and divine authority, I’m going to let it go, I’m going to let it go. Because I’m going to get back control over my life, and bring the fullness of who I am to the forefront of my life. I am simply going to let it go, I am going to let it go.
And I’m going to give you a couple of things that will help you in the process of letting it go, I’m going to give you a couple of things. I’m going to get all right, because when I teach this, there are breakthroughs going to happen all over the room.
There are marriages that are being healed. There are relationships between sisters that are not speaking that are going to be healed right now. When I get through teaching this, somebody don’t go home and call your daddy, even though he didn’t pay the child support, even though he wasn’t there for you, even though he didn’t raise your he’s still your daddy. And that pain and agony has got to be broken off in your life.
Because if you don’t break it off in your history is going to show up in your destiny. And you’ve got to break that bondage so you can be free to go into the realm of who you want to be. And you know how you can forgive people who really hurt you? You can forgive people when you understand them. And this is the beginning of your understanding. This is understanding 101, you get the book, I’ll take you through the whole process.
But this is understanding 101, you have not made a distinction between weakness and wickedness. He might have been weak, but he wasn’t wicked. She might have been weak and not wicked. Some things people did they didn’t do them to you they did it to themselves and you were a victim of their weakness.
And how arrogant of you to act like you have no weaknesses of your own. Do you hear what I’m saying to you? So I want you to begin to make the distinction between weakness and wickedness so that you can begin to understand that you can’t afford not to be forgiving. The Bible said, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.’ somebody showed mercy.
T.D. Jakes: Now I want you to understand that whenever you ask for mercy, you have to understand you’re guilty. See, if I accused you of a crime, and you didn’t do the crime, when you go to court, you want justice. Because justice is a friend to the innocent.
So when you are innocent, and I falsely accuse you, you pray for justice. But when I accuse you of something for which you are guilty, you pray for mercy. ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,’ that means that mercy is what God releases, not when they’re lying on you, God releases mercy when you are guilty. And there is something that each of you know about yourselves in this room that you are guilty off, and yet you have received mercy.
My question then my brothers and sisters is, how can you receive it and then refused to give it? And your reason for not being forgiving of all things is because they’re guilty. You should see what he did, he’s guilty. So are you.
If God had ever forgiven you, though you were guilty, had mercy though you were wrong. Then it’s kind of like the kissing, just do back what He did to you. Let it go. Let it go.
If I bruise your leg, we can put some Mercurochrome on it, and it’ll get better. If you have a laceration in your arm we can stitch it up, and it’ll get better.
But what happens when your soul is bruised? When your self-esteem is bruised? When your femininity is bruised? When you’ve lost confidence in yourself as a woman, or you’ve been emasculated about what you’ve been through? These are wounds for which the world has no remedy. And so weanaesthetizeour pain.
Some do it with crack cocaine, some do it with alcohol, some do it with church. Church can become your drug of choice. It’s not where you worship, it is where you anaesthetize and medicate which you cannot fix. Jesus did not say I come that you might have church. He said, “I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” This is not anaesthesia, this is not a tranquilizer to induce some spiritual euphoria to get you happy for a few moments and then go home and live in hell.
Jesus said, “I come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.” And the only thing stopping you from having life is that you are taking your faith like a narcotic. Instead of using it as a liberator so that it can empower you to simply letting go.
This is what I want from you, I want you to stand up on your feet. I feel the anointing of the Lord in this place. See when I speak to you, I come to you as a mailman. A mailman brings you mail, but he can’t open up the envelope. So your privacy is protected even though he brought you the message.
I brought you a message today and I can’t see in the envelope. I’m talking to you in generalities. But if you have the Holy Spirit, he’s speaking to you in specifics, while I’m teaching relationships are to be coming up in your face. Areas that God is directing this message to you, because He wants something to happen in your life that liberates you.
I brought you a [mall] this morning, a healing influence. All the way from Dallas, Texas I came to you. When pastor Jenkins asked me would I come over here and be a vine and I didn’t know two days ago that I would be here. But the Holy Spirit directed me to be here in person with you. Because I’m special equipment. Like a doctor is a specialist I’m a specialist. We all have different specialties.
My specialty is your pain, my specialty is your scar, my specialty is your secret. My anointing is for your unforgiveness. Don’t you let me walk out of here without getting what God sent me here to give you. I don’t care what you got to climb over to get it. Because you didn’t know a week ago I would be here and I didn’t either. But the Father knew from the foundations of the world that I would be here today.
God interrupted your schedule and mind because He had a special delivery for you. I don’t know who He’s talking to you about. I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t know what’s aching you. I don’t know what’s eating at you. I know you’re tough. I know you’re survivor. I know you’re so bad sister. I know you’re bad but I got all of that. I’m getting beneath all that garbage I’m talking to the you God created you to be, the woman down inside of you that screaming wanting to get out, the guy down inside of you that really wants to be free and can’t.
You may have to forgive somebody, release somebody, even if that somebody is you.
Join hands, sweet Holy Spirit. Come now in this place, touch somebody. Heal somebody, let your power minister to somebody, let your glory take over this place, send a healing influence. Somebody is going to need your help to let it go; their emotions have been driving the car so long that they don’t know how to get the wheel back, but God in the name of Jesus, come in this place. Squeeze that hand you’re holding right now. Right now Lord, just that quick, let your anointing and let your healing go into every secret place.
I have challenged your people today and shared what you told me to say, I didn’t even know I was going to be here you order my steps. Somebody in this room has got to be changed. You wouldn’t have sent me from Texas, if somebody wasn’t going to be changed. Spirit of the Living God have your way in his place. I thank you for what you’re about to do, have your way mighty God. Squeeze that hand.
The anointing is going into that person’s life, into that person’s heart, into that scar. Let a change happen, an adjustment be made, a heart be mended, a mind be fixed.
Lord if there’s an eagle in this house. If there is an eagle in this house, cut them out of that chicken coop and let them fly, in Jesus name. Let me hear the Eagles give God praise.